• Potential of Retrofitting Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems Using an Integrated Geographical Information System Remote Sensing Based Approach

      Ferrier, G.; Milan, D.; Keat Yew, C.; Pope, R.J.; University of Hull; University of Derby (2018-12-06)
      Flooding is a major problem in urban areas worldwide. Methodologies that can rapidly assess the scale and identify the reasons causing these flooding events at minimal cost are urgently required. This study has used the City of Kingston-upon-Hull to evaluate the capability of an integrated remote sensing and geographical information system based approach to provide the critical information on the spatial extent of flooding and flood water volumes and overcome the limitations in current monitoring based on ground-based visual mapping and household flooding surveys. Airborne and Terrestrial LiDAR datasets were combined with digital aerial photography, flood assessment surveys, and maps of housing, infrastructure and the sewer network. The integration of these datasets provided an enhanced understanding of the sources and pathways of the flood water runoff, accurate quantification of the water volumes associated with each flooding event and the identification of the optimum locations and size of potential retrofit Sustainable Urban Drainage systems.
    • First detection of a highly invasive freshwater amphipod Crangonyx floridanus (Bousfield, 1963) in the United Kingdom.

      Mauvisseau, Quentin; Davy-Bowker, John; Bryson, David; Souch, Graham; Burian, Alfred; Sweet, Michael J.; University of Derby; Surescreen Scientifics Ltd; Freshwater Biological Association; Natural History Museum (Regional Euro-Asian biological Invasions Centre, 2018-12-05)
      The freshwater gammarid, Crangonyx floridanus, originates from North America but has invaded and subsequently spread rapidly throughout Japan. We provide here the first genetic and microscopic evidence that C. floridanus has now also reached the United Kingdom. We found this species in two locations separated by more than 200 km (Lake Windermere in the North of the UK and Smestow Brook, West Midlands). The current distribution of C. floridanus is currently unknown, however, both sites are well connected to other river and canal systems. Therefore, the chance of further spread is high. Genetic analyses of C. floridanus indicate that British inland waters are colonised by the same lineage, which invaded Japan. We recommend further work to assess the distribution of this species and its impact on the local fauna and flora.
    • Coral reef carbonate budgets and ecological drivers in the central Red Sea: a naturally high temperature and high total alkalinity environment.

      Roik, Anna; Röthig, Till; Pogoreutz, Claudia; Saderne, Vincent; Voolstra, Christian R.; King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST); University of Derby (European Geosciences Union, 2018-10-26)
      The structural framework provided by corals is crucial for reef ecosystem function and services, but high seawater temperatures can be detrimental to the calcification capacity of reef-building organisms. The Red Sea is very warm, but total alkalinity (TA) is naturally high and beneficial for reef accretion. To date, we know little about how such detrimental and beneficial abiotic factors affect each other and the balance between calcification and erosion on Red Sea coral reefs, i.e., overall reef growth, in this unique ocean basin. To provide estimates of present-day reef growth dynamics in the central Red Sea, we measured two metrics of reef growth, i.e., in situ net-accretion/-erosion rates (Gnet) determined by deployment of limestone blocks and ecosystem-scale carbonate budgets (Gbudget), along a crossshelf gradient (25 km, encompassing nearshore, midshore, and offshore reefs). Along this gradient, we assessed multiple abiotic (i.e., temperature, salinity, diurnal pH fluctuation, inorganic nutrients, and TA) and biotic (i.e., calcifier and epilithic bioeroder communities) variables. Both reef growth metrics revealed similar patterns from nearshore to offshore: net-erosive, neutral, and net-accretion states. The average cross-shelf Gbudget was 0.66 kg CaCO3 m−2 yr−1 , with the highest budget of 2.44 kg CaCO3 m−2 yr−1 measured in the offshore reef. These data are comparable to the contemporary Gbudgets from the western Atlantic and Indian oceans, but lie well below “optimal reef production” (5–10 kg CaCO3 m−2 yr−1 ) and below maxima recently recorded in remote high coral cover reef sites. However, the erosive forces observed in the Red Sea nearshore reef contributed less than observed elsewhere. A higher TA accompanied reef growth across the shelf gradient, whereas stronger diurnal pH fluctuations were associated with negative carbonate budgets. Noteworthy for this oligotrophic region was the positive effect of phosphate, which is a central micronutrient for reef building corals. While parrotfish contributed substantially to bioerosion, our dataset also highlights coralline algae as important local reef builders. Altogether, our study establishes a baseline for reef growth in the central Red Sea that should be useful in assessing trajectories of reef growth capacity under current and future ocean scenarios
    • Mass mortality hits gorgonian forests at Montecristo Island.

      Turicchia, Eva; Abbiati, Marco; Sweet, Michael J.; Ponti, Massimo; University of Bologna; Centro Interdipartimentale di Ricerca per le Scienze Ambientali (CIRSA); Consorzio Nazionale Interuniversitario per le Scienze del Mare (CoNISMa); Polytechnic University of Marche; Istituto di Scienze Marine (ISMAR); University of Derby (Inter Research, 2018-10-16)
      Mediterranean gorgonian forests are species-rich habitats, and like many other marine habitats they are threatened by anthropogenic disturbances and mass mortality events. These mortality events have often been linked to anomalies in the temperature profiles of the Mediterranean region. On 5 September 2017, colonies of the gorgonians Eunicella singularis and Eunicella cavolini exhibited rapid tissue loss, down to a depth of 30 m along the steep cliffs of Montecristo Island, Tuscan Archipelago National Park, Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy. Interestingly, Montecristo has previously been identified as a reference site for the ecological quality assessment of the western Mediterranean benthic assemblages on rocky bottoms. The observed mortality event occurred during a period of increased sea temperature. By utilising a combination of high-resolution oceanographic analysis, forecast models and citizen science initiatives, we propose that an early warning system for the concomitance of heat waves and mortality events can be put in place. A temperature-based coral disease surveillance tool could then be established for the entire Mediterranean Sea. Such a tool would allow for the timely study of mass mortality phenomena and the implementation of prompt mitigation and/or restoration initiatives. Finally, this specific mortality event, in a Marine Protected Area, offers a unique opportunity to monitor and assess the resilience of gorgonian populations and associated benthic assemblages in the absence of other, more directly, anthropogenic disturbances such as pollution and land runoff.
    • Spatio-temporal dynamics and aetiology of proliferative leg skin lesions in wild British finches

      Lawson, Becki; Robinson, Robert A.; Fernandez, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos; John, Shinto K.; Benitez, Laura; Tolf, Conny; Risely, Kate; Toms, Mike P.; Cunningham, Andrew A.; Williams, Richard, A.J.; Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regent’s Park, London, NW1 4RY, UK.; British Trust for Ornithology, The Nunnery, Thetford, Norfolk, IP24 2PU, UK.; IDEXX Laboratories Limited, Grange House, Sandbeck Way, Wetherby, West Yorkshire, LS22 7DN, UK.; Departamento de Genética, Fisiología y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, E-28040, Madrid, Spain.; Zoonotic Ecology and Epidemiology, EEMiS, Linnaeus University, Kalmar, 391 82, Sweden; Departamento de Biodiversidad, Ecología y Evolución, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, E-28040, Madrid, Spain (Nature Publiching Group, 2018-10-10)
      Proliferative leg skin lesions have been described in wild finches in Europe although there have been no large-scale studies of their aetiology or epizootiology to date. Firstly, disease surveillance, utilising public reporting of observations of live wild finches was conducted in Great Britain (GB) and showed proliferative leg skin lesions in chaffinches (Fringilla coelebs) to be widespread. Seasonal variation was observed, with a peak during the winter months. Secondly, pathological investigations were performed on a sample of 39 chaffinches, four bullfinches (Pyrrhula pyrrhula), one greenfinch (Chloris chloris) and one goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) with proliferative leg skin lesions and detected Cnemidocoptes sp. mites in 91% (41/45) of affected finches and from all species examined. Fringilla coelebs papillomavirus (FcPV1) PCR was positive in 74% (23/31) of birds tested: a 394 base pair sequence was derived from 20 of these birds, from all examined species, with 100% identity to reference genomes. Both mites and FcPV1 DNA were detected in 71% (20/28) of birds tested for both pathogens. Histopathological examination of lesions did not discriminate the relative importance of mite or FcPV1 infection as their cause. Development of techniques to localise FcPV1 within lesions is required to elucidate the pathological significance of FcPV1 DNA detection.
    • Impacts of lagoon opening and implications for coastal management: case study from Muni-Pomadze lagoon, Ghana

      Davies-Vollum, K. Siân; Zhang, Zihao; Agyekumhene, Andrews; University of Derby; University of Virginia; Wildlife Division (Forestry Commission)Winneba,Ghana (Springer, 2018-09-18)
      Lagoon-barrier systems are a dynamic coastal environment. When an ephemeral connection between a lagoon and the ocean develops, it has significant impact on hydrology, sedimentology and ecology. Increasingly, human actions and sea level rise also influence lagoons with the potential to increase their connectivity with the ocean. TheMuni-Pomadze lagoon in central Ghana is a small lagoon-barrier system that is intermittently open to the ocean. Following opening in 2014 the lagoon was open to the ocean for more than two years. Causes for the unusually long period of lagoon opening are unclear although human intrevention has played a role. Field observation, digital mapping and GIS analysis of the shoreline during the two year period of lagoon opening has enabled an understanding of how the lagoon-ocean connection has impacted coastal morphology, erosion and sedimentation. Opening has resulted in rapid changes to the location of the barrier breaching (tidal inlet), erosion on the barrier and sedimentation in the lagoon. Such modifications have implications for local resources and ecosystem services that underpin the livelihood and wellbeing of local communities. Elucidating how a connection to the ocean impacts lagoons and the coastal communities they support are important to managing lagoons not only in Ghana but across West Africa.
    • Plant species or flower colour diversity? Identifying the drivers of public and invertebrate response to designed annual meadows.

      Hoyle, Helen; Norton, Briony, A.; Dunnett, Nigel; Richards, J. Paul; Russell, Jean M.; Warren, Philip H.; University of Sheffield (Elsevier, 2018-09-01)
      There is increasing evidence of the benefits of introducing urban meadows as an alternative to amenity mown grass in public greenspaces, both for biodiversity, and human wellbeing. Developing a better understanding of the meadow characteristics driving human and wildlife response is therefore critical. We addressed this by assessing public and invertebrate response to eight different annual meadow mixes defined by two levels of plant species diversity and two levels of colour diversity, sown in an urban park in Luton, UK, in April 2015. On-site questionnaires with the visiting public were conducted in July, August and September 2015. Invertebrate responses were assessed via contemporaneous visual surveys and one sweep net survey (August 2015). Flower colour diversity had effects on human aesthetic response and the response of pollinators such as bumblebees and hoverflies. Plant species diversity, however, was not a driver of human response with evidence that people used colour diversity as a cue to assessing species diversity. Plant species diversity did affect some invertebrates, with higher abundances of certain taxa in low species diversity meadows. Our findings indicate that if the priority for sown meadows is to maximise human aesthetic enjoyment and the abundance and diversity of observable invertebrates, particularly pollinators, managers of urban green infrastructure should prioritise high flower colour diversity mixes over those of high plant species diversity. Incorporating late-flowering non-native species such as Coreopsis tinctoria (plains coreopsis) can prolong the attractiveness of the meadows for people and availability of resources for pollinators and would therefore be beneficial.
    • Endemicity and climatic niche differentiation in three marine ciliated protists

      Williams, Richard, A.J.; Owens, Hannah, L; Clamp, John; Peterson, A Townsend; Warren, Alan; Martin-Cereceda, Mercedes; Centre for Ecology and Evolution in Microbial Model Systems, Linnaeus University, SE-391 82, Kalmar, Sweden; Biodiversity Institute, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045, USA; Department of Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040, Madrid, Spain; Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA; Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC 27707, USA; Department of Life Sciences, Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK; Department of Genetics, Physiology and Microbiology, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040, Madrid, Spain (Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO), 2018-07-18)
      The biogeographic pattern of single‐celled eukaryotes (protists), including ciliates, is poorly understood. Most marine species are believed to have a relatively high dispersal potential, such that both globally distributed and geographically isolated taxa exist. Primary occurrence data for three large, easily identified ciliate species, Parafavella gigantea, Schmidingerella serrata, and Zoothamnium pelagicum, and environmental data drawn from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's World Ocean Atlas were used to estimate each species’ spatial and environmental distributions using Maxent v3.3.3k. The predictive power of the models was tested with a series of spatial stratification studies, which were evaluated using partial receiver operating characteristic (ROC) statistics. Differences between niches occupied by each taxon were evaluated using background similarity tests. All predictions showed significant ability to anticipate test points. The null hypotheses of niche similarity were rejected in all background similarity tests comparing the niches among the three species. This article provides the first quantitative assessment of environmental conditions associated with three species of ciliates and a first estimate of their spatial distributions in the North Atlantic, which can serve as a benchmark against which to document distributional shifts. These species follow consistent, predictable patterns related to climate and environmental biochemistry; the importance of climatic conditions as regards protist distributions is noteworthy considering the effects of global climate change.
    • Molecular identification of papillomavirus in ducks

      Williams, Richard, A.J.; Tolf, Conny; Waldenström, Jonas; Linnaeus University (Nature Research, 2018-06-14)
      Papillomaviruses infect many vertebrates, including birds. Persistent infections by some strains can cause malignant proliferation of cells (i.e. cancer), though more typically infections cause benign tumours, or may be completely subclinical. Sometimes extensive, persistent tumours are recorded– notably in chaffinches and humans. In 2016, a novel papillomavirus genotype was characterized from a duck faecal microbiome, in Bhopal, India; the sixth papillomavirus genotype from birds. Prompted by this finding, we screened 160 cloacal swabs and 968 faecal samples collected from 299 ducks sampled at Ottenby Bird Observatory, Sweden in 2015, using a newly designed real-time PCR. Twenty one samples (1.9%) from six individuals (2%) were positive. Eighteen sequences were identical to the published genotype, duck papillomavirus 1. One additional novel genotype was recovered from three samples. Both genotypes were recovered from a wild strain domestic mallard that was infected for more than 60 days with each genotype. All positive individuals were adult (P = 0.004). Significantly more positive samples were detected from swabs than faecal samples (P < 0.0001). Sample type data suggests transmission may be via direct contact, and only infrequently, via the oral-faecal route. Infection in only adult birds supports the hypothesis that this virus is sexually transmitted, though more work is required to verify this.
    • Marine climate and hydrography of the Coralline Crag (early Pliocene, UK): isotopic evidence from 16 benthic invertebrate taxa.

      Vignols, Rebecca M.; Valentine, Annemarie M.; Finlayson, Alana G.; Harper, Elizabeth M.; Schöne, Bernd R.; Leng, Melanie J.; Sloane, Hilary J.; Johnson, Andrew L. A.; University of Derby; University of Cambridge; University of Mainz; British Geological Survey (Elsevier, 2018-05-24)
      The taxonomic composition of the biota of the Coralline Crag Formation (early Pliocene, eastern England) provides conflicting evidence of seawater temperature during deposition, some taxa indicating cool temperate conditions by analogy with modern representatives or relatives, others warm temperate to subtropical/tropical conditions. Previous isotopic (δ18O) evidence of seasonal seafloor temperatures from serial ontogenetic sampling of bivalve mollusk shells indicated cool temperate winter (< 10 °C) and/or summer (< 20 °C) conditions but was limited to nine profiles from two species, one ranging into and one occurring exclusively in cool temperate settings at present. We supplement these results with six further profiles from the species concerned and supply seven more from three other taxa (two supposedly indicative of warm waters) to provide an expanded and more balanced database. We also supply isotopic temperature estimates from 81 spot and whole-shell samples from these five taxa and 11 others, encompassing ‘warm’, ‘cool’ and ‘eurythermal’ forms by analogy with modern representatives or relatives. Preservation tests show no shell alteration. Subject to reasonable assumptions about water δ18O, the shell δ18O data either strongly indicate or are at least consistent with cool temperate seafloor conditions. The subtropical/tropical conditions suggested by the presence of the bryozoan Metrarabdotos did not exist. Microgrowth-increment and δ13C evidence indicate summer water-column stratification during deposition of the Ramsholt Member, unlike in the adjacent southern North Sea at present (well mixed due to shallow depth and strong tidal currents). Summer maximum surface temperature was probably about 5 °C above seafloor temperature and thus often slightly higher than now (17–19 °C rather than 16–17 °C), but only sometimes in the warm temperate range. Winter minimum surface temperature was below 10 °C and possibly the same as at present (6–7 °C). An expanded surface temperature range compared to now may reflect withdrawal of oceanic heat supply in conjunction with higher global temperature.
    • The impact of freshwater mussels (order Unionoida) on river bed characteristics and sediment flux: A flume-based study.

      Leng, Andrea; Davies-Vollum, K. Siân; Ramsey, Andrew; University of Derby (2018-05-05)
      Unionoid mussels are considered keystone species due to their ability to modify and link pelagic, benthic and hyporheic environments in freshwater systems, [1,2,3] yet empirical data to determine their influence on river bed dynamics and sediment flux is lacking. A recirculating flume-based study using fifty individuals of the unionoid species Anodonta anatina investigated the impact of this species on bedform development and particle flux of a polymodal substrate representative of the grain size distribution of the mussel's river habitat. River seston was added to the flume at weekly intervals, and water and substrate conditions were monitored for the eight-week duration of the study. The control experiment had mussels absent from the flume. It was found that the presence of A. anatina increased the organic content of the substrate through deposition of pseudofaeces, and led to significant reductions in near-bed velocity, boundary shear-stress and the amount of suspended and dissolved solids in the water column. However, despite these impacts a greater quantity of sediment and a larger range of grainsizes entered the flume's sediment trap compared to the control experiment when mussels were absent. The impact of mussel bioturbation appears to outweigh any sediment stabilisation effects arising from the increased organic content of the substrate and the reduced near bed velocities. Additionally, sediment grainsize and longitudinal wetted profile measurements indicate that the mussels increased bed roughness and heterogeneity of the substrate. Given that freshwater mussels can exist at very high densities within rivers, [3] increased mixing and mobilisation of bedload, improved habitat heterogeneity and the transferral of material from the water to the substrate by mussels implies they constitute a critical element in the sediment and nutrient dynamics of fluvial systems. References: 1. Vaughn, C.C., Nichols, S.J. & Spooner, D.E., 2008. Community and foodweb ecology of freshwater mussels. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, 27(2), pp.409-423. 2. Gutierrez, J.L. et al., 2003. Mollusks as ecosystem engineers: the role of shell production in aquatic habitats. Oikos, 101(1), pp.79-90. 3. Aldridge, D.C. et al, 2007. Freshwater mussel abundance predicts biodiversity in UK lowland rivers. Aquatic Conservation-Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 17(January), pp.554-564.
    • Maintaining natural spawning timing in Acropora corals following long distance inter-continental transportation.

      Craggs, Jamie; Guest, James R.; Brett, Aaron; Davis, Michelle; Sweet, Michael J.; University of Derby; Horniman Museum and Gardens; Newcastle University; SECORE Internationa; S.E.A Aquarium (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, 2018-04-30)
      The majority of research focusing on coral reproductive biology (e.g. spawning timing and synchrony) is carried out in facilities adjacent to reefs that the corals originated from. This is in part because transporting corals for long distances by air leads to sub-lethal stress that may confound the results of any experimental study. However, these constraints often mean research associated with coral reproductive timing is restricted to relatively few locations. To assess the potential for studying environmental drivers of spawning timing in corals in captivity (defined here as ex situ closed aquaria), we aimed to transport 14 large (16-37 cm) Acropora hyacinthus colonies from reefs in Singapore to a closed aquarium system in London (a journey time of ~34 hours). Collection was purposefully timed to occur just before the predicted annual mass spawning event and on the day of transportation it was noted that 12 of the 14 corals contained large visible oocytes. The ‘inverted submersion method’ was applied and the water used for transport was buffered to ensure the colonies remained healthy throughout their travel time. At the end location all colonies were placed into a purpose built aquarium research system which allowed for the approximation of the environmental conditions found on the fringing reefs south of Singapore (the original location). While three colonies appeared partially bleached (visibly pale) and one colony suffered from partial tissue loss, all colonies (i.e. 100% of those collected) were still alive at the time of writing (28 months post collection). More importantly, all corals that were gravid at the time of collection spawned ex situ within the same lunar month as those in the wild (within 3-4 nights of each other). This paper describes the procedures for carrying out long distance transportation of large gravid broadcast spawning coral colonies from reef sites to public aquariums or research facilities around the world for the purpose of ex situ spawning research.
    • Maintaining natural spawning timing in Acropora corals following long distance inter-continental transportation.

      Craggs, Jamie; Guest, James R.; Brett, Aaron; Davis, Michelle; Sweet, Michael J.; University of Derby; Horniman Museum and Gardens; Newcastle University; SECORE International, Inc.; Resorts World Sentosa (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, 2018-04-29)
      The majority of research focusing on coral reproductive biology (e.g. spawning timing and synchrony) is carried out in facilities adjacent to reefs that the corals originated from. This is in part because transporting corals for long distances by air leads to sub-lethal stress that may confound the results of any experimental study. However, these constraints often mean research associated with coral reproductive timing is restricted to relatively few locations. To assess the potential for studying environmental drivers of spawning timing in corals in captivity (defined here as ex situ closed aquaria), we aimed to transport 14 large (16-37 cm) Acropora hyacinthus colonies from reefs in Singapore to a closed aquarium system in London (a journey time of ~34 hours). Collection was purposefully timed to occur just before the predicted annual mass spawning event and on the day of transportation it was noted that 12 of the 14 corals contained large visible oocytes. The ‘inverted submersion method’ was applied and the water used for transport was buffered to ensure the colonies remained healthy throughout their travel time. At the end location all colonies were placed into a purpose built aquarium research system which allowed for the approximation of the environmental conditions found on the fringing reefs south of Singapore (the original location). While three colonies appeared partially bleached (visibly pale) and one colony suffered from partial tissue loss, all colonies (i.e. 100% of those collected) were still alive at the time of writing (28 months post collection). More importantly, all corals that were gravid at the time of collection spawned ex situ within the same lunar month as those in the wild (within 3-4 nights of each other). This paper describes the procedures for carrying out long distance transportation of large gravid broadcast spawning coral colonies from reef sites to public aquariums or research facilities around the world for the purpose of ex situ spawning research.
    • The use of gamification in the teaching of disease epidemics and pandemics.

      Robinson, Louise; Turner, Ian J.; Sweet, Michael J.; University of Derby; Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, University of Derby, Derby, DE22 1GB, UK; Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, University of Derby, Derby, DE22 1GB, UK; Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, University of Derby, Derby, DE22 1GB, UK (Oxford Academic, 2018-04-26)
      With the launch of the teaching excellence framework, teaching in higher education (HE) is under greater scrutiny than ever before. Didactic lecture delivery is still a core element of many HE programmes but there is now a greater expectation for academics to incorporate alternative approaches into their practice to increase student engagement. These approaches may include a large array of techniques from group activities, problem-based learning, practical experience and mock scenarios to newly emerging approaches such as flipped learning practices and the use of gamification. These participatory forms of learning encourage students to become more absorbed within a topic that may otherwise be seen as rather ‘dry’ and reduce students engagement with, and therefore retention of, material. Here we use participatory-based teaching approaches in microbiology as an example to illustrate to University undergraduate students the potentially devastating effects that a disease can have on a population. The ‘threat’ that diseases may pose and the manner in which they may spread and/or evolve can be challenging to communicate, especially in relation to the timescales associated with these factors in the case of an epidemic or pandemic.
    • In situ observations of coral bleaching in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea during the 2015/2016 global coral bleaching event.

      Monroe, Alison A.; Ziegler, Maren; Roik, Anna; Röthig, Till; Hardenstine, Royale S.; Emms, Madeleine A.; Jensen, Thor; Voolstra, Christian R.; Berumen, Michael L.; King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST); Marine Microbiology, GEOMAR Helmholtz Center for Ocean Research Kiel Du¨sternbrooker Weg 20, Kiel, Germany; The Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China (PLOS ONE, 2018-04-19)
      Coral bleaching continues to be one of the most devastating and immediate impacts of climate change on coral reef ecosystems worldwide. In 2015, a major bleaching event was declared as the “3rd global coral bleaching event” by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, impacting a large number of reefs in every major ocean. The Red Sea was no exception, and we present herein in situ observations of the status of coral reefs in the central Saudi Arabian Red Sea from September 2015, following extended periods of high temperatures reaching upwards of 32.5°C in our study area. We examined eleven reefs using line-intercept transects at three different depths, including all reefs that were surveyed during a previous bleaching event in 2010. Bleaching was most prevalent on inshore reefs (55.6% ± 14.6% of live coral cover exhibited bleaching) and on shallower transects (41% ± 10.2% of live corals surveyed at 5m depth) within reefs. Similar taxonomic groups (e.g., Agariciidae) were affected in 2015 and in 2010. Most interestingly, Acropora and Porites had similar bleaching rates (~30% each) and similar relative coral cover (~7% each) across all reefs in 2015. Coral genera with the highest levels of bleaching (>60%) were also among the rarest (<1% of coral cover) in 2015. While this bodes well for the relative retention of coral cover, it may ultimately lead to decreased species richness, often considered an important component of a healthy coral reef. The resultant long-term changes in these coral reef communities remain to be seen.
    • Evolution of high-Arctic glacial landforms during deglaciation.

      Midgley, Nicholas G.; Tonkin, Toby N.; Graham, David, J.; Cook, Simon J.; Nottingham Trent University; University of Derby; Loughborough University; University of Dundee (Elsevier, 2018-03-29)
      Glacial landsystems in the high-Arctic have been reported to undergo geomorphological transformation during deglaciation. This research evaluates moraine evolution over a decadal timescale at Midtre Lovénbreen, Svalbard. This work is of interest because glacial landforms developed in Svalbard have been used as an analogue for landforms developed during Pleistocene mid-latitude glaciation. Ground penetrating radar was used to investigate the subsurface characteristics of moraines. To determine surface change, a LiDAR topographic data set (obtained 2003) and a UAV-derived (obtained 2014) digital surface model processed using structure-from-motion (SfM) are also compared. Evaluation of these data sets together enables subsurface character and landform response to climatic amelioration to be linked. Ground penetrating radar evidence shows that the moraine substrate at Midtre Lovénbreen includes ice-rich (radar velocities of 0.17 m ns−1) and debris-rich (radar velocities of 0.1–0.13 m ns−1) zones. The ice-rich zones are demonstrated to exhibit relatively high rates of surface change (mean thresholded rate of −4.39 m over the 11-year observation period). However, the debris-rich zones show a relatively low rate of surface change (mean thresholded rate of −0.98 m over the 11-year observation period), and the morphology of the debris-rich landforms appear stable over the observation period. A complex response of proglacial landforms to climatic warming is shown to occur within and between glacier forelands as indicated by spatially variable surface lowering rates. Landform response is controlled by the ice-debris balance of the moraine substrate, along with the topographic context (such as the influence of meltwater). Site-specific characteristics such as surface debris thickness and glaciofluvial drainage are, therefore, argued to be a highly important control on surface evolution in ice-cored terrain, resulting in a diverse response of high-Arctic glacial landsystems to climatic amelioration. These results highlight that care is needed when assessing the long-term preservation potential of contemporary landforms at high-Arctic glaciers. A better understanding of ice-cored terrain facilitates the development of appropriate age and climatic interpretations that can be obtained from palaeo ice-marginal landsystems.
    • Ontogeny of juvenile freshwater pearl mussels, Margaritifera margaritifera (Bivalvia: Margaritiferidae).

      Lavictoire, Louise; Ramsey, Andrew; Moorkens, Evelyn; Souch, Graham; Barnhart, M. Christopher; University of Cumbria; University of Derby; Trinity College Dublin; Missouri State University (Public Library of Science (PLOS), 2018-03-28)
      The gills of juvenile freshwater bivalves undergo a complex morphogenesis that may correlate with changes in feeding ecology, but ontogenic studies on juvenile mussels are rare. Scanning electron microscopy was used to examine the ultrastructure and ontogeny of 117 juvenile freshwater pearl mussels (Margaritifera margaritifera) ranging in age from 1–44 months and length from 0.49–8.90 mm. Three stages of gill development are described. In Stage 1 (5–9 inner demibranch filaments), only unreflected inner demibranch filaments were present. In Stage 2 (9–17 inner demibranch filaments), inner demibranch filaments began to reflect when shell length exceeded 1.13 mm, at 13–16 months old. Reflection began in medial filaments and then proceeded anterior and posterior. In Stage 3 (28–94 inner demibranch filaments), outer demibranch filaments began developing at shell length > 3.1 mm and about 34 months of age. The oral groove on the inner demibranch was first observed in 34 month old specimens > 2.66 mm but was never observed on the outer demibranch. Shell length (R2 = 0.99) was a better predictor of developmental stage compared to age (R2 = 0.84). The full suite of gill ciliation was present on filaments in all stages. Interfilamentary distance averaged 31.3 μm and did not change with age (4–44 months) or with size (0.75–8.9 mm). Distance between laterofrontal cirri couplets averaged 1.54 μm and did not change significantly with size or age. Labial palp primordia were present in even the youngest individuals but ciliature became more diverse in more developed individuals. Information presented here is valuable to captive rearing programmes as it provides insight in to when juveniles may be particularly vulnerable to stressors due to specific ontogenic changes. The data are compared with two other recent studies of Margaritifera development.
    • Rediscovery of the critically endangered ‘scarce yellow sally stonefly’ Isogenus nubecula in United Kingdom after a 22 year period of absence.

      Davy-Bowker, John; Hammett, Michael J.; Mauvisseau, Quentin; Sweet, Michael J.; Freshwater Biological Association; Natural History Museum; Tyn Y Berth Mountain Centre; University of Derby (Magnolia Press, 2018-03-14)
      The critically endangered ‘scarce yellow sally stonefly’ Isogenus nubecula (Newman, 1833) (Plecoptera: Perlodidae) was rediscovered in the United Kingdom (UK) in 2017. This rediscovery comes after a 22-year period of absence despite numerous surveys since its last record in 1995. This species is one of the rarest stoneflies in the UK and Europe and its rediscovery is of international significance, being the westernmost point in Europe where the species is found, with the next nearest populations occurring in Austria and western Hungary, Slovakia, and central Sweden. The species is classed as pRDB2 (vulnerable), however is not listed in the British Red Data Book despite only being present (as far as records detail) in one river, the River Dee in North Wales, UK. Only fourteen individuals were caught and the need for conservation of this rare stonefly is therefore of paramount importance. We have made recommendations for the need to increase survey effort using environmental DNA (eDNA) techniques in order to fully understand the species range in this river and those in the surrounding area. The DNA sequence of I. nubecula has been uploaded on GenBank for further genetic studies. Captive rearing could also be explored with possible reintroductions to sites within its former UK range. 
    • Topographic shading influences cryoconite morphodynamics and carbon exchange.

      Cook, J. M.; Sweet, Michael J.; Cavalli, O.; Taggart, A.; Edwards, A.; University of Derby; University of Sheffield; Aberystwyth University; Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; Environmental Sustainability Research Centre, College of Life and Natural Science, University of Derby, Derby, UK; Institute of Biological, Rural and Environmental Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK; Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK; Institute of Biological, Rural and Environmental Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK (Taylor & Francis., 2018-03-13)
      Cryoconite holes are the most active and diverse microbial habitats on glacier and ice-sheet surfaces. In this article the authors demonstrate that the shape of cryoconite holes varies depending on ice-surface topography and that this has implications for the carbon cycling regime within. Net ecosystem production is shown to be controlled primarily by sediment thickness within holes. The authors show that irregular hole shapes are indicative of hole migration away from topographic shade, which promotes carbon fixation at the mesoscale on ice surfaces. A cellular automaton is used in conjunction with sediment-delivery experiments to show that migration is the result of simple sediment transfer processes, implying a relationship between ice-surface evolution and cryoconite biogeochemistry that has not previously been examined.
    • Topographic shading influences cryoconite morphodynamics and carbon exchange.

      Cook, Joseph M.; Sweet, Michael J.; Cavalli, Ottavia; Taggart, Angus; Edwards, Arwyn; University of Derby; Aberystwyth University; University of Sheffield (Taylor and Francis, 2018-03-13)
      Cryoconite holes are the most active and diverse microbial habitats on glacier and ice-sheet surfaces. In this article the authors demonstrate that the shape of cryoconite holes varies depending on ice-surface topography and that this has implications for the carbon cycling regime within. Net ecosystem production is shown to be controlled primarily by sediment thickness within holes. The authors show that irregular hole shapes are indicative of hole migration away from topographic shade, which promotes carbon fixation at the mesoscale on ice surfaces. A cellular automaton is used in conjunction with sediment-delivery experiments to show that migration is the result of simple sediment transfer processes, implying a relationship between ice-surface evolution and cryoconite biogeochemistry that has not previously been examined.